#SPFBO 8 Third Batch of Books


What is SPFBO? Check out Mark Lawrence’s post here to look at this year’s entrants, judges and allocations list.

I am teaming up again with the ladies from The Critiquing Chemist.

Today’s post is all about highlighting my third/final batch of  SPFBO books. This year I’m trying a different process than I’ve used in previous years.  I’ve randomly chosen three batches of books, five per month for the first three months (from the 15 books allocated to Lynnsbooks).  That leaves me two remaining months to read potential semi finalists put forward by myself and the Critiquing Chemist.  I’m intending to read this final batch by the conclusion of which I will have made a decision about which books will be cut and which I will roll forward.  I anticipate that I will probably have 4, 5 or maybe even 6 books (possibly more – who knows) that I will read fully and review before choosing 1 or 2 semi finalists.  As with previous SPFBOs I’ve read at least 30% of all the books I’ve been allocated see my previous post.  So, without further ado let’s take a look at my final five books:

Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson


Miss Mildred Percy inherits a dragon.

Ah, but we’ve already got ahead of ourselves…

Miss Mildred Percy is a spinster. She does not dance, she has long stopped dreaming, and she certainly does not have adventures. That is, until her great uncle has the audacity to leave her an inheritance, one that includes a dragon’s egg.

The egg – as eggs are wont to do – decides to hatch, and Miss Mildred Percy is suddenly thrust out of the role of “spinster and general wallflower” and into the unprecedented position of “spinster and keeper of dragons.”

But England has not seen a dragon since… well, ever. And now Mildred must contend with raising a dragon (that should not exist), kindling a romance (with a humble vicar), and embarking on an adventure she never thought could be hers for the taking.


Between Ink and Shadows by Melissa Wright

Between ink

She’ll win back her freedom, even if she has to steal it.

Nimona Weston has a debt to pay. Her father’s dealings with the dark society known as the Trust cost Nim her freedom. There’s one way out of the contract on her life and that’s to bide her time and pay the tithes. But when the Trust assigns Nim to a task in the king’s own castle, her freedom is not the only thing she’ll risk.

Warrick Spenser has a secret. As king’s seneschal, he should be the last soul in Inara to risk association with dark magic, but long-hidden ties to the Trust are harder to shed than simply cutting the threads. When the Trust sends a thief to his rooms, Warrick thinks he’s finally found a way to be rid of them for good. But Nimona Weston is hiding secrets of her own.

Magical contracts, blood-debt accountants, and a deadly game. A dark and twisty fantasy that pits magic against kings.


Testament of an Archangel by Kat Loveland


What if everything you’ve been told about Lucifer’s and Mankind’s fall from the Garden was wrong? I am Remiel, one of the Archangels whose name didn’t quite make it into modern times and I am choosing this moment to share what none of the others will. My story is about innocence lost, family torn apart and how nothing, even to an angel, is truly ever what it seems.


The Heretic by Thane Tyler


“Oh gods, I’m some sort of prophet now? I only wanted a drink…”

The Heretic is the story of a man who finds himself in great danger, and can’t quite work out how he got there, although it probably has something to do with alcohol. His mouth gets him in trouble, and before he knows what’s happening he has to flee not just his hometown but his homeland entirely, with an unexpected companion in tow. This book is his story, the story of a journey and an odd friendship.

The Heretic is a work of fantasy, but one with few truly fantastical elements. It is based on real historical cultures, mainly those of Classical-era Europe.

The tone is darkly humorous, and has been described by acclaimed author Terri Nixon as “Python meets Pratchett”.


Falhorne: The World is Burning by Tristan Dineen


The Order is no more. The Falhorne, ancient champions of the elder gods, have dwindled to no more than a handful of beleaguered warriors.

The skies are darkening over the land of Vinos and persecution of the maligned Old Believers escalates at the hands of both church and state.

As one of the few surviving defenders of a proud tradition, Tagus is among the last of the Vinosian Falhorne when the pogrom comes. His mentor slain, his comrades slaughtered, and his people enslaved, he must begin a quest that will take him into the darkness of his past and a depth of evil beyond anything that he has ever faced.


I can’t wait to tuck in – good luck everyone.